Here's the situation. I'm graduating in about 4 weeks with my Masters and this means that I'll have student loans coming due shortly. After buying and selling some cars, I've managed to scrape together about $40k, which will cover about 2/3 of my student loan debt. My wife will also be graduating in May with her Doctorate, which brings with it about a $3500/mo. pay increase. Our goal is to crank out $3k/ mo. in student loan debt so that we can have my debt paid off and can focus on hers when it comes due. Her debt is about the same as mine. I've managed to whittle us down two 3 drivable cars at the moment, which includes my E38 BMW, her Elantra and my JLU. The catch here is that her lease is up in April.
Hyundai always gives good incentives to lease again, so that's an option we're considering. However, based upon our timeline of wanting to move to the west coast 24 mo. after she graduates, that will have us making a payment when we're not entirely sure what our expenses are going to look like. Buying a used car seems to be a decent choice here. That's the TFL stuff.
She likes how easy her Elantra is to use. It doesn't have a bunch of menus and weird ergonomics. She loves the fuel economy and Apple CarPlay. However, she hates how cheap everything feels and loud it is going down the road. Our girls are also getting taller and struggle with the comfort of the back seat on longer trips. She loves my E38 and would be more than willing to daily drive it. However, I hate the idea of leaning on a 19 year old German to be our everyday + long range car.
I'm seriously tempted to locate a nice silver or grey Hyundai Equus (2012 and up) and have that as her daily. They seem to be reliable and are really cheap with at or over 100k miles on them. It's got heated and cooled seats, some self-driving features, tons of rear seat room and most modern amenities. I want to avoid the Ultimate as I'd like to have the option of putting 5 people in the car. One of these can be bought for $10k or so. This seems like a car that would last a long time and be relatively trouble-free for a low buy-in price with all the goodies and all the room. Yes, we lose fuel economy, but it shouldn't make that big of a dent. It's also eaten most of its depreciation. Even if it's only worth half of it's price in 5 years, it will only have cost us $5k to drive it for a few years, and I'm okay with that.
However, leasing something else may also be an option, as by the time we get to April, or even to June/July, we could be seeing ridiculous lease rates again like back in 2011-2015. So, I could potentially get into a Camry/Altima/Fusion (are they still selling those?) for under $200/mo.
I'd love to hear some other options. I've considered the Azera, Avalon, Cadenza and LaCrosse. It seems all of those cars have a higher buy in than the Equus but not nearly the fake-rich. What am I missing?